How Your HVAC System Works | Insight from Your Trusted Fort Worth, TX Heating and AC Repair Service Provider

How Your HVAC System Works | Insight from Your Trusted Fort Worth, TX Heating and AC Repair Service Provider

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HVAC systems are essential to every home in Fort Worth, TX. They will keep you cool during the summertime and keep you warm in the colder months. However, many of us do not take good care of our HVAC systems; we take it for granted — we just expect it to work for us every time. When it malfunctions, we will need heating and AC repair in Fort Worth, TX and that will cost you money. To avoid heating and AC repair, it’s important that every household knows how the HVAC system works. They need to understand how heating and cooling work in their homes. When owners understand the system and how to maintain it, they are able to prevent frequent heating and AC repair.

Understanding how the system works also lets you cut costs with heating and AC repair as you can do some quick fixes yourself. Knowing the basics of Heating and Cooling would be enough.

So How Does Everything Work?

Heating and cooling devices are composed of three components: the source for the cool and warm air; a means of how this cool or warm air is being distributed to the rooms; and a control to regulate the system. Most of the time, both the heater and cooler use the same control system and distribution. Only one thermostat is used for both of these systems and most likely the cool and warm air flows through the same ducts. When the system isn’t functioning, one of the three components above may be defective.

When your home warms up, the heater and the furnace put the heat into the air; and when it’s cooler, heat is removed by the air conditioner to cool your home. It’s during this process when fuel is burned. Although most systems use either gas or fuel, some of them do use electricity.

The heat pump — which is an electrical device — cools and heats the air. They extract heat from the air inside your home during the summer and vice versa during the winter. It pulls heat from the air outside and uses the same air to warm the home. This heat pump provides climate control in your homes year-round.

When you turn on the air conditioner, the warm air in the room is cooled and this cooled air is then distributed to the different parts of the home through ducts. When the furnace is on, it produces heat and distributes the heat to the different areas in the rooms still through pipes or ducts. The heat and the cool air flows through these same pipes or ducts.

In the event where one of the three components malfunctions, you will need heating and AC repair in Fort Worth, TX.

How Warm and Cool Air Are Distributed

As soon as the air is cooled or warmed, it is then distributed to the different areas of the home. There are three ways to distribute this cool or warm air.

Gravity Systems

In Gravity Systems, the furnace must be located either near or below the floor, while the registers should be high on the walls. This is because this system follows the principle “Cold air sinks while hot air rises”. In this system, the cool air doesn’t come from the air conditioner. It comes from the furnace and rises to the ceiling. When it cools, it then flows through the ducts and is distributed to the rooms. It flows back to the furnace to be reheated.

Forced-Air Systems

In the Forced-Air System, the cool air is produced by the air conditioner while the warm air is through the furnace. Both the warm and cool air is distributed through a blower – a powered fan – into the metal ducts in the homes. This system also uses the cold air return system. After the warm air from the furnace is distributed to the rooms, the colder air flows through the cold air return system back to the furnace to be warmed again. In the Forced-Air Systems, it allows you to decrease or increase the cooled or the heated air flowing through the ducts in your homes.

Radiant Systems

This system uses hot water as the heat source. The furnace heats this water and distributes it to the pipes found on the ceiling, walls or floors.

Radiant systems can’t be used for distributing cool air from an AC. What they do is warm the floors, ceilings, the walls – or rather the radiators in the rooms. The modern models are built only into concrete houses. When the pipes warm the concrete, any air that contacts the floor surface is heated. Eventually, it will heat the air of the entire house.

The only downside to using the Radiant system is — the pipes used may become clogged and the boiler could also malfunction. This is one of the reasons why new homes rarely install this kind of system. When this happens, make sure to call your Fort Worth, TX heating and AC repair technician.

The Thermostat

A thermostat is a control that you use for regulating the temperature in your homes. It may be wall or boiler-mounted. You may use a traditional temperature dial when using the thermostat or through a smartphone app. With the thermostat, you don’t need to keep switching the heaters on and off – it will automatically do it for you. You will have to set your preferred temperature and your thermostat will keep that desired level. If it reaches a certain point, it will switch off to maintain the desired temperature.

As the temperature changes, the bimetallic element in the thermostat also expands and contracts. The newer thermostats contain coiled bimetallic strip elements that uncoil every time the temperature drops. A stationary steel bar is then separated and comes close to the enclosed contact, pulls it up and turns on the heater. While the space is heating up, the coil rewinds and breaks the magnet’s hold. The circuit breaks and turns off the system.

Smart vs. Programmable Thermostat

Smart thermostats allow you more control of your heating schedules. You can even have separate schedules for different days of the week or integrate them into your home automation systems. You can control it with your tablet, smartphone, speaker and other remote devices.

Depending on the model, smart thermostats offer different features. Some can learn your preferences and can automatically adjust it based on what it has learned; others can even detect a problem with the system or remind you that your system needs maintenance or heating and AC repair. With the smart thermostat, you can also save a lot on your energy bills. And they are extremely efficient. You can save money as it only cools and heats as needed.

The Programmable thermostat, on the other hand, allows you to set schedules only for a certain number of days. In some models, it can allow up to 7 days. There are non-programmable thermostats too but you can save more money with the programmable ones.

Installing a Smart Thermostat

You may be able to upgrade to a smart thermostat if you have the modern HVAC systems in your homes. Also, you will need to have wifi. The best thing to do would be to contact a technician for more information or if you need advice.

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance for Your Heating and Cooling

Knowing how to do preventive maintenance for your HVAC system will maximize its efficiency and minimize heating and AC repair in the future. We would suggest that you schedule maintenance with a technician so they can do a thorough inspection of the entire unit including all of its components. Other benefits of preventive maintenance include:

Cut Utility Costs – When your system is well maintained, you get maximum efficiency and save loads on energy costs.

Improves Air Quality – Imagine having a dirty furnace filter. The trapped dirt or allergens can potentially make you sick. Having clean furnace filters means you get clean and improved air. Ideally, filters should be replaced every 2 to 3 months. Contact your technician if you need further help.

Prevents Shutdown – It will be such a hassle when it’s winter and your heater suddenly shuts down. You can prevent this when you schedule maintenance at least once a year. A service technician will be able to inspect every component of your system including the wirings too.

Keeps Your Home Safe – Maintenance protects your family against carbon monoxide risks. This is mainly caused when there are leaks in the heat exchanger. Exposure to these can result in serious health concerns. You can prevent this by scheduling an annual inspection for your HVAC systems.

It’s Environment-Friendly – Your HVAC system consumes less fuel and energy when it’s well-maintained. That means your green footprint is lessened. You are therefore helping the environment.

When to Call an HVAC Technician

There are quick fixes that you can do at home. But when you notice these signs, it’s time to call a technician:

Strange Noises 

HVAC systems are normally quiet when they operate. So when you hear unusual noises coming from the unit, you will need to seek help from a professional.

You Are Uncomfortable Inside Your Home

If you have turned on your heater and you still feel cold and uncomfortable, there could be a problem with your filter. Or you may need to remove dirt and debris in your outdoor unit. If the problem isn’t resolved, there could be other problems in your system. Call a technician.

Skyrocketing Utility Costs

When the heat pump isn’t working properly, you may notice a sudden increase in your energy costs. Call a technician so they can help you fix the problem.

Thermostat Alerts

If you have a modern thermostat that has great features, it may tell you that something is wrong. Listen to these and call a technician right away.

Things to Look for Before Hiring a Technician

If you are having problems with your HVAC system and will need a technician, these are the things that you should be looking at:

Experience – Do make sure that the technician you intend to hire has had years of experience working with HVAC systems. Also, it would be best if they have the right licenses and training to be able to efficiently help you with all your heating and cooling needs.

Nate Certification – This is the best and the largest organization that gives out licenses in the HVAC industry. When a technician holds this certificate, it means that they have the proper knowledge and skill to get the job done. Technicians who get this certificate usually undergo a series of practical exams and continuous education for about two years to be able to keep this certification.

Can They Provide Referrals from Their Past Customers?

It’s a good practice to also ask for referrals from your friends and family members. Otherwise, ask for references from the technicians themselves. If they can provide you with names, call the client and how about their experience with the technician or contractor. Doing this will save you time and money.

Know About Their Refund Policies and Warranties

Everything must be put in writing including the services you are getting, and if they do refund in case you encounter a problem in the future. The bottom line is, you should always only do business with a reputable company to avoid future problems.

Contact One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating for Heating and Cooling Concerns

Since 1988, One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth, TX has been helping residents and commercial spaces in Texas with their heating and AC repair needs, installations, emergency services, HVAC repair, preventative maintenance, etc.

Should you need help with heating and AC repair, they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Call for an appointment today!